warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

Sidewalk superintendent on the job

There is a fascination about watching something being destroyed, like a building.
I never considered myself a “sidewalk superintendent,” but there I was near the Post Office recently watching Ken Polifka tearing down the former Glencoe Oil building. I wasn’t alone, either. There were many sidewalk superintendents in the vicinity. We were like moths to a flame. It was an irresistible attraction.
Also there were longtime Glencoe Oil owners John and Chuck Shamla. John on the north side of 11th Street in his lawn chair, and brother Chuck in his lawn chair in Glencoe Oil’s east parking lot. Chuck apparently liked being closer to the action.
As the demolition began, a small gathering amassed. It grew a little bigger as the crunching of heavy machinery into the roof and sides of the building progressed.
Someone asked, “Where’s your camera?”
“I severed that appendage,” I replied.
It must be in the male genetic code: If there is noise and machinery, we have to have a look see.
It’s similar to a hole recently being dug for a basement on 13th Street. The big machinery moved in, dug the hole for the basement and left. Shortly thereafter, an elderly gentleman sauntered up to the site and peered into the hole. “Yup, it’s a hole,” he seemed to nod. “What they gonna do with it?” was his next gesture. Except, no one around to ask. But he was satisfied. His inspection was complete.
The same held true of the old building on Greeley Avenue that was razed earlier this year to make way for the yet-to-open Downtown Sports Bar (formerly Al’s Sports Bar). I had my camera appendage yet, so I took a few photos to justify being there. Some of the same sidewalk superintendents were at that building’s demise, too.
I suspect they will be “supervising” the demolition of Mark’s Economart building as well later this year.
Us retirees have to entertain ourselves somehow. Call it a coffee-less men's club for self-anointed demolition experts.
Some of my sidewalk companions, by the way, were well versed in the construction-destruction business. They know what they are talking about.
Me? I was just there to talk smart. Something I’m pretty good at.
“Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, but plans to submit an occasional column.